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Friday, April 26, 2013

Chicken Vs. Egg: The Super Bowl

Nature or nurture?

In "The Biology of Belief" (2005) Dr. Bruce J. Lipton tackles this widely disputed chicken vs. egg saga. In his persuasive book, Lipton uses epigenetics, the study of the molecular mechanisms by which the environment controls gene activity, to argue that any scientific model claiming the primacy of DNA is telling an incomplete story. Although books about science are usually not high on my list, this author helped me to easily navigate the technical information presented. He also helped me understand how the well established legacies of Descartes, Newton & Darwin have made it difficult for modern science to challenge the nature side of the age-old debate.

Aside from learning a great deal and admiring the temerity of a physician unafraid to incur the wrath of his peers by naming one section "Physicians: The Pharmaceutical Patsies", this book also nicely coincided with work my wife has been doing for the last year. Many of Lipton's well researched conclusions are consistent with the tenets of Positive Psychology; my wife completed her certificate program in this new discipline recently.

But Lipton's book and my wife's certificate did not lead either of us to a clear victory in the Super Bowl. This chicken vs. egg contest is destined to outlast all of us. What evidence have you come across  that has helped you get more clarity on this?         



  

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